Our apartment stay at Florence – Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence

posted in: Accommodation, Destinations, Europe, Florence, Italy | 46

Our recent trip to Europe was about a lot of fun, beautiful memories, holiday and enjoyment. But, it was also about a lot of experimentation. We experimented with food, self planned walking tours, getting lost in streets of Europe, trying the effective means of commute, packing light, discovering vegetarian survival strategies and so much more. An important part of this experimentation was an apartment stay. I know, it’s very common and many of you might have already done it. But it was the first time for us. We have mostly travelled in the Indian subcontinent and we have stayed either in hotels or in home stays. But never in a flat all to ourselves. Europe has many more accommodation options that are yet to gain full fledged popularity in India, like hostels, dormitories and apartments.

Palazzo Dei Ciompi
The living room at Palazzo Dei Ciompi

Arrival at Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence

We booked Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence for our stay in the renaissance town. After having spent 2 days in Rome, we headed here for a 2 nights stay. The apartment is conveniently located into the heart of Florence. And it is not very far from the train station. As a result, we soon arrived here after exiting the train station. Although, we had booked a taxi drop from the train station to Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence, the distance is very much walkable. If only we didn’t have that much luggage with us, (Oh yes, I know, everyone warned to pack light for Europe, and believe me we tried our best. ) , we would have walked to Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence.

Nevertheless, we reached the apartment in less than 10 minutes. As we got down from our taxi and dragged our luggage to the entrance, a huge gate greeted us. Through it, there was a second gate that led to the heart of the apartment. At the ground floor is the office cum reception. When we arrived here, it was afternoon time. The receptionist was awaiting us (How sweet of her!). Soon, we completed the check-in formalities and collected the keys to our apartment. And also some maps of florence that were conveniently placed in the waiting lounge for our convenience.

Our flat at Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence

Our flat was at the fourth floor. The small lobby, with a main door of its own, had entrance to two flats, one of those being ours. And any guess about the name of the duo of the flats? Well it was named “Lianardo-da-vinci”. What better name can one expect for their flat in the heart of Renaissance.  As we entered inside, we felt a very relaxing and informal aura. It is a two bedroom apartment.

Living Room & Corridor

The living room has a sofa at one side and a small kitchen with a dining table tucked in the other side. And the kitchen is fully equipped to cook a meal. That includes an induction cooktop, a small microwave, water kettle, all the pots, pans, plates and cutlery, a small freeze and a sync to wash your dishes. Moving on to the passage behind the living area, it has a big mirror at one end and a sleek counter with a few chairs to have your breakfast or do anything else. The passage opens to two bedrooms and one common bathroom.

Bedrooms

Both the rooms are neat and clean, with beautiful lighting and enough space to accommodate your luggage. What’s more. They have the classic Italian windows with shutters. And a small painted glass window as well. As a bonus, the windows opened to beautiful views outside. Even the dome of the Basilica at Duomo is visible from one of the windows. Other than that, you can see the old Tuscany town stretching in front of you. The sunset views from these windows were also very amazing.

Palazzo Dei Ciompi

The neighborhood of Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence

As we settled ourselves into the rooms, we felt a wave of relaxation running through us. We got fresh and then embarked on one of our self planned walking tours to explore the beauty of florence. As we headed out of the apartment, there was another sweet surprise awaiting for us. Right on the corner of the street was a vegan restaurant and in front of it an ice-cream parlor. We vegetarians were so delighted on the discovery. Thus, we had a fulfilling veg burger each before proceeding further on our walking tour. After getting our meals packed, we sat on the steps of the platform just outside of the apartment. And had our hearty meals.

Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence
Having a hearty family meal near Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence 🙂

When we were heading back from the walking tour, we thought of preparing our own meal today. Now, that’s the beauty of staying in an apartment. Just as the locals would do, we did some grocery shopping from a store on our way back to the apartment. Then we prepared our meal. And we had a lovely time, having the meal and chitchatting with our friends in the common living area. Thereafter we took turns to wash the plate. Not only was the meal lovely because we prepared it together, it was so much lighter on our pockets too than takeaway meals that we earlier had.

The fun part of living in Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence

Post dinner began the preparation of the next day. On the same dining table we spread our maps and figured out the routes for our next day’s endeavor. What I experienced is that the common living room becomes a beautiful place to enjoy ourselves when staying in an apartment vs a hotel, more so when you are traveling with friends and are scattered across rooms. Even our little one got more space to play. And she freely ran from one room to another without me having to worry about where she is headed.

The breakfast at Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence

The apartment seems to have a tie up with the café-bar right besides it. So, we had our complementary breakfast there. The menu spread was nothing compared to that of the hotels. But it was so delicious and fulfilling. So, did we mind? Not a bit. The café has a lovely outdoor sitting. And it was such a delight to have our breakfast here, with the early morning sun bathing us over. Along with having our breakfast, we enjoyed watching the locals slowly go about their morning activities in the street. Some were out with their pets on a morning walk. Others came to pick some stuff for breakfast from nearby stores. And almost everyone stopped by to say a “hello” or at least throw a generous smile on us. How lovely!!

Palazzo Dei Ciompi

The location of Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence

I cannot brag enough about the location of Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence. Not only is the apartment located at walking distance from the train station. But it is also located right in the center of the old Florence. And that being quiet close to most of the major places to see in Florence. On the one hand, it is located at walking distance from river Arno, Uffizzi Gallery, Ponte Vecchio, Bobili Garden and Pitti Palace. And on the other hand, it is at a stones throw from the Duomo square, Santa Novella square, Acedemia Gallery and many other prominent structures. We had only 48 hours to spend in total. Yet, we were able to make the most of these 48 hours in Florence.

Had it not been for the central location of Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence, this won’t have been possible. We designed two walking tours of Florence from our apartment. And we took both of them. These were the best possible way to explore Florence in the limited time that we had there. Read about our self planned and self guided walking tours of florence here in part 1 and part 2. Even the grocery shops and restaurants were at a few meters from the apartment. So, after completing our walking tours, we were able to shop for our needs and happily prepare our meals at the end of the day.

Conclusion

I guess the apartment living experience that we had at Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence is going to remain with us forever as one of the most delightful stay experiences that we had in this Europe trip. And if we are ever going to return back to Florence, we are going to stay here for sure. Overall, it was comfortable, with great views and in the center of Florence.

Our apartment stay at Palazzo Dei Ciompi Florence

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A self planned free walking tour of Florence , Part – 1

A self planned free walking tour of Florence, Part – 2

A half day tour to Pisa

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46 Responses

  1. I like that when you discuss apartments, you consider the family – parents and kid. I like that you always make a ‘families can be comfortable here’ impression with your apartment reviews. Thanks.

    • Thanks Lydia. The reason being, we always travel with our family, and whenever possible even our parents. We encourage family travel because we strongly believe it improves the family bonds and helps develop the kids in numerous ways

  2. What a cute place to stay. It’s both very modern and retro at the same time. Thanks for sharing about your experience in Florence.

  3. […] to grasp as much vibe of this wonderful place as possible. So, on our first day, after arriving at our accommodation and getting fresh, we headed on a walking tour around the river […]

  4. […] After having a great walking tour in Florence the day we arrived, it was so difficult to wait for the second one. However, the next day, we also planned to visit Pisa. The trip from Florence to Pisa is not a very long one. We started for it by 12 in the noon. So, we decided to head on our walking tour as early as possible in the morning. And do a 3-4 hours walking tour of Florence in the freshness at the start of a new day. Before heading to Pisa later in the noon. While our first walking tour of florence covered the areas around river Arno, this second walking tour of florence was centered around the same side of the river as our accommodation, Palazzo Dei Ciompi. […]

  5. I have stayed in a condo unit in my own country, but not abroad so it was interesting to read about your experience. I haven’t really considered of doing it because I usually travel alone in other countries and most of the time I’m out so I just stay in hostels. But I think an apartment suits you since you travel with your family.

    • You are right. Perhaps a hostel will better suit you. But for us, in bigger family and groups, apartment looks like a better option

  6. Just like you, whenever i travel, I prefer home stay or stay in Hostels, but there’s nothing wrong about staying in a nice flat like this one.I like how you guys able to experiment everything in Europe. I can truly say that you guys are adventurous enough. I haven’t been to Florence yet, hopefully soon If I get the chance.

    • Thank you 🙂 We truly had a lot of experiments at our hands in this trip and luckily they all went well. The foremost one being such a long trip for the first time with our little daughter

  7. Your apartment is so lovely and neat, Neha! Save travels!

  8. Florence has always been on my travel bucket list! It’s actually awesome! Seems like you already got a cool place to live! Hope you having a good time there:)

  9. The fact that this place is so close to the train station, itself is a plus for me. Location for me is the most important. This does seem like a good deal. I do hope to get to Florence again someday and will look up for this or something similar.

    • Right Ami.When the accommodation is near to the train station and the places to visit, it becomes all the more easy and so convenient to move around at your own flexibility

  10. Florence, definitely on my list of places I gotta go! How amazing was the food??

    • Totally!! We are vegetarians so we had a lot of ice cream, vegan burgers and pizzas and one time a pasta. it all was delicious

  11. Apartment seems very nice… thanks for the information.. it will be helpful for planning Europe trip..

  12. So happy your first “whole apartment to yourselves” experience was such a blast for you! And Florence is beautiful, isn’t it?

    • Florence is so beautiful! It is one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever been to

  13. Looks like a great place to stay for families and really gives you the feeling of living like a local.

  14. Loved reading this post! We were just in Florence 2 weeks ago, so I was able to relive part of our trip 🙂 Apartments can be very convenient and comfortable. We use them a lot when we travel and it’s especially nice to have a kitchen! Especially in a place like Florence when you can pick up fresh goods from the market and make the best meal ever!

    • Exactly Erin. I guess most of the cities in Europe are like this. And you can easily prepare some no-fuss food there. So a kitchen is so crucial. We did enjoy every bit of it

  15. Looks like you had great fun experimenting with all that you have tried during your trip Neha. The best part is being able to cook your own meal. Finding the food that suites my son has always been a herculean task when I travel with him. Renting an apartment where we can do the cooking looks like the best way to make sure the kid gets to eat well.

    • You are right Sindhu. I guess one of the satisfying part was to be able to prepare meals for my daughter my way. And I felt she ate better. And also enjoyed better while we were in the apartment. Since she had more space to explore and also felt at home.

  16. I love Florence. Looks like a great spot

  17. […] We took almost four and half hours to complete the tour and return back to our apartment, Palazzo Dei Campi. But it was far from exhausting. So, without wait, let me take you through the places that we […]

  18. Nice apartment and Florence looks so nice. I think apartments are sometimes better than hotels as you feel more at home.

    • You are right. The at home feeling is what makes apartment stay really memorable

  19. The experience looked so lovely as you got to cook together as a family and experience a home away from home. I liked how it was so close to many central attractions and away from the hustle and bustle of Rome.

    • You are right Gina. The opportunity to assemble and do things together as a family made the apartment stay even more wonderful

  20. It was good that you were able to find a vegetarian restaurant near this apartment. I also like to eat after I have arrived at my hotel. The staff sound hospitable and friendly. The location is also great because it will save you money and time in exploring the town.

    • You are right. That meal was really something we thoroughly enjoyed. And yes, it was much easier to explore the town on foot from here

  21. Wow! It sure looks like you got lucky with your accommodation! It’s not often you get something central, convenient, with great food and service, and also other good places to eat nearby!

  22. This sounds like a great experience. We stayed in a regular but beautiful hotel a little away from Florence when we were there. But staying in an apartment does seem to be a fun experience and gives you lot of flexibility. Hope to try this out soon.

    • Definitely it gave us a whole lot of flexibility compared to a hotel. And after staying here we wished to have booked an apartment for all other destinations that we visited. We are also waiting for the next time 🙂

  23. Nicole Anderson

    What a lovely place and so great that it was located so centrally. Apartments can be so good when travelling to places you are not that familiar with. You always have the option of dining out or preparing your own meals depending on your circumstances. This is something I will keep in mind if/when I ever get the chance to visit Florence.

    • Sure Nicole. Glad you found our experience useful. It was indeed an apartment at a perfect location that gave us a lot of flexibility as well

  24. Ive only been to Rome in Italy so far and absolutely loved it, so Florence is definitely on my list. This looks like a lovely place to stay, I’ll look it up when I finally go!

    • We loved florence more than Rome because our choice is always tilted towards more scenic and smaller destinations with lesser crowd

  25. Wow looks lovely! I am visiting London in a year or so so I may look into something like this!

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